The information below describes the various sections of the Rivanna Trail that circumnavigates the City of Charlottesville. We have listed the sections in counterclockwise order starting at Woolen Mills railroad trestle. In parentheses are the segment length, the cumulative mileage from Mile 0, and a description of the footing.
Woolen Mills to Riverview Park
(.41 miles, .41 miles from mile 0, moderate)
Mile 0 is at the railroad trestle. Follow the sandy trail from Moore's Creek to the old Woolen Mills dam site; climb uphill to left. Roadwalk: turn right onto E. Market Street, right onto Riverside Avenue, right into Riverview Park.
Riverview Park to Route 250 at Free Bridge
(1.48 miles, 1.89 from mile 0, easy)
Follow hard-surfaced trail through the park’s fields and forests along the Rivanna River. A spur trail (.39 miles) makes possible a loop hike within the park.
Route 250 at Free Bridge to Holmes Avenue
(1.64 miles, 3.53 from mile 0, moderate)
Follow hard-surfaced trail to VFW fields. Just upriver, turn left. Roadwalk: right onto River Road, right onto Locust Avenue, left onto Locust Lane, right onto Megan Court, and into forest. Turn left to follow Meadow Creek. At junction, trail across creek leads to River North Trail.
Holmes Avenue to Park Street
(.59 miles, 4.12 from mile 0, moderate)
Trail follows Meadow Creek. There are numerous spur trails behind Charlottesville High School, into McIntire Park and connecting to Meadowbrook Heights Road.
Park Street to the Norfolk-Southern RR underpass
(1.12 miles, 5.25 from mile 0, moderate)
After crossing under the Park Street bridge, detour along Melbourne to the paved Warner Parkway Trail. Follow the trail for a couple hundred feet, then cut right to return to the rustic Trail. The trail crosses the creek on the Parkway Trail bridge, and then immediately turns left towards the culvert.
Norfolk-Southern RR underpass to Greenbrier/Brandywine Drives
(.64 miles, 5.88 from mile 0, easy)
We hope to build a foot crossing through the culvert. It is illegal to cross over the railroad tracks or through the culvert.
Greenbrier/Brandywine Drives to Hydraulic Road
(1.07 miles, 6.95 from mile 0, moderate)
Follow the clearing and watch for the rock hop across Meadow Creek on the left. Use caution crossing the creek. The southern part of this segment was moved to make way for the Meadow Creek restoration project scheduled to start in 2012.
Hydraulic Road to Emmet Street (Rt. 29)
(.62 miles, 7.57 from mile 0, moderate)
Walk upstream beside Meadow Creek as it makes its way under two major roadways. Continue through forest near City Gardens. Turn right onto Morton Drive.
Emmet Street to Barracks Road
(1.51 miles, 8.19 from mile 0, easy)
Cross Emmet Street. Follow Earhart Street to a footbridge on the left. Turn left onto Cedars Court after second footbridge. Cross Barracks Road to rejoin the trail. Remain on the trail when traversing the Federal Executive Institute property, and stay off the ropes course equipment.
Barracks Road to Old Ivy Road
(1.74 miles, 9.70 from mile 0, moderate)
Follow the headwaters of Meadow Creek, past the foundation of the county's 1806 Poor House, through a forest of mountain laurel and chestnut oaks, through two large fields, and past a small pond.
Old Ivy Road to Ivy Road (Rt. 250)(proposed)
It is illegal to cross over the railroad tracks.
An acceptable detour is to turn left down Old Ivy Road, and then back up Ivy to the Fire Station next to the 250 Bypass off ramp.
Ivy Road to Fontaine Avenue
(1.88 miles, 11.72 from mile 0, moderate)
Start near the fire station. Keep your eyes open for RTF blazes that mark the main path around Observatory Hill. There are numerous connecting trails throughout this area.
Fontaine Avenue to Stribling Avenue
(.59 miles, 12.31 from mile 0, moderate)
Walk under pines, cross a fence stile, follow road across bridge, turn left to enter the floodplains of Morey Creek. Cross the creek on stepping stones. The adjoining Department of Forestry Nature Trail spur (1 mile) contains several trees unusual to Virginia, remnants of a 1930s tree nursery. Use caution crossing the creek.
Stribling Avenue to Sunset Avenue
New trail segment open fall 2011: Turn right on Stribling Avenue, then right again immediately after crossing under the railroad bridge. Pass through the field, cross the driveway, and then descend to the rock hop across Moore's Creek. Turn left at Sunset Avenue Extended, and then right after crossing the pedestrian bridge. Use caution crossing the creek.
Sunset Avenue to Azalea ParkThe Sunset Avenue bridge to McElory is closed to through travel. Detour up the hill on Sunset, turn right on Brunswick, then down Jefferson Park Circle to McElroy. Turn left on Middleton, cross Old Lynchburg Road, right onto Mobile Lane, and immediately left at trail sign.
Azalea Park to 5th Street Ext.
(.87 miles, 14.54 from mile 0, moderate)
Look for plentiful wildlife in the park’s vegetated buffer along Moore’s Creek. Cross the creek on stepping stones, continue through forest and field. Use extreme caution crossing the creek; may be impassible in high water.
5th Street Ext. to Jordan Park(2.3 miles, 16.84 from mile 0, moderate)
Turn left out of the culvert, and then right after crossing the footbridge. The trail crosses Bent Creek Road behind the Exxon and Hardees, and then turns left up the hillside towards Harris Street. Follow 5th Street and then return to forest trail (right turn) to walk along Rock and Moore’s Creeks.
Jordan Park to Quarry Park
(1.07 miles, 17.91 from mile 0, moderate)
Follow the trail to Avon Street. Turn right, cross Avon Street, cross road bridge, turn left onto trail near tall pines. Meander through a young wildlife-filled forest. Climb a long gentle hill through pines to high bluffs overlooking Moore's Creek.
Quarry Park to the Woolen Mills
(1.64 miles, 19.55 from mile 0, difficult)
The trail hugs Moore's Creek as it makes its way to the Rivanna River. Be prepared to scramble over rocks, trample through sand, and see a variety of wildlife, exposed rock cliffs, the old livestock market, and historic mill buildings. We hope to build a foot crossing of Moore’s Creek near the old Woolen Mills. Crossing the railroad trestle is both illegal and dangerous. Use extreme caution crossing through the creek.